In the run-up to The Booker Prize 2019 shortlist announcement, I was browsing a local book store for inspiration and ideas. The Booker Prize is the leading literary award in the English speaking world so naturally, I was intrigued to see which titles had made the longlist. Around 30 minutes later I emerged with this month’s book pick: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
I sped through this book within 2 days as it was short and really easy to read. It has a different take on a thriller to those I’ve read before as you’re reading from the perspective of the killer’s sister, Korede.
Korede receives a call from her sister, Ayoola, and immediately knows what to do. She grabs bleach and her rubber gloves and jumps in the car to find Ayoola and her latest victim. This isn’t the first time her sister has killed her own boyfriend in ‘self-defence’ and it’s not the last.
Femi makes three you know. Three and they label you a serial killer.”
The author explores the complex relationship between the two sisters and their upbringing. Their personalities and outlook on life are so different and this comes to a bit of a tipping point when Ayoola wins the attention of Korede’s long-term crush.
How far is she willing to go to protect her sister with the knowledge of what her sister has become? Who will she choose to save?
There are moments of humour mixed with moral dilemmas, family disagreements and fatalities. The question is, what would you have done in that situation?
Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
This novel has been recognised by multiple prizes:
- Nominated for the 2019 Booker Prize
- Winner of the LA Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller
- Finalist for the 2019 Women’s prize
Booker Prize 2019
The Booker Prize focuses in on some of the best novels in fiction across varied genres and writing styles. The prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK and Ireland.
The shortlist was announced on 3 September 2019 and all 6 authors and novels sound brilliant in their own right – definitely some titles here to add to your reading list!
- Margaret Atwood, The Testaments
- Lucy Ellmann, Ducks, Newburyport
- Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other
- Chigozie Obioma, An Orchestra of Minorities
- Salman Rushdie, Quichotte
- Elif Shafak, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World
Good luck to all of the shortlisted authors in this year’s Booker Prize – the winner will be announced on 14 October 2019!
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